The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will be holding three meetings next month to solicit public input on the proposed rule to require Turtle Excluder Devices on skimmer trawls, pusher-head trawls, and wing nets (butterfly trawls)
The first meeting is planned for January 9, 2017, at the Larose Civic Center, 307 East 5th St., Larose, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The second meeting will be held in Gretna on January 10, from 12-noon to 2 p.m., at Coastal Communities Consulting, Inc., 925 Behrman Highway, Suite 15.
The third meeting is set to take place in Belle Chasse, also on January 10, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Belle Chasse Community Center, 8398 Highway 23.
NOAA is proposing to withdraw current tow time restrictions and instead require all skimmer trawls, pusher-head trawls, and wing nets (butterfly trawls) rigged for fishing to have turtle excluder devices (TEDs) to prevent small sea turtles from getting caught in these nets.
The intent of the proposed rule is to reduce incidental bycatch and mortality of sea turtles in southeastern U.S. shrimp fisheries, and to aid in the protection and recovery of the threatened and endangered sea turtle populations.
NOAA is also proposing to amend the definition of tow times to better clarify the intent and purpose of tow times to reduce sea turtle mortality, and to refine additional portions of the TED requirements to avoid potential confusion.
Written comments may also be submitted and will be accepted through February 14, 2017.
NOAA may not consider comments if they are sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the comment period ends.
Comments may also be submitted online through the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/docket?D=NOAA-NMFS-2016-0151; click the “Comment Now!' icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.
You may submit attachments in Microsoft Word, Excel, or Adobe PDF file formats only.
Mail comments to Michael Barnette, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701; or fax: 727-824-5309; Attention: Michael Barnette.
Posted on Thu, December 22, 2016
by The Lafourche Gazette